Fordham Rowing Closes Out a Challenging Season


At the two biggest races of the season, Fordham found success considering all they have had to face this season. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

On May 8, Fordham Rowing competed for the last time before the A-10 Championship at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The weather was mild and the water was calm, and it seemed like the Rams were set to finally find some success after weeks of coaching changes and COVID-19 scares. 

Fordham’s team entered five boats in the prestigious event: the varsity 4, junior varsity 4, varsity 8, junior varsity 8, and third varsity 8. Unfortunately, the Rams found little success against the stiff competition. The varsity 8 earned the most success, placing fourth in their heat overall and advancing to the Petite Finals in the process, which they won in dominant fashion. 

The junior varsity 8 experienced unfortunate weather conditions during their event. The race seemed to be going well, and it was a close contest for the first half (1000 meters), but according to multiple rowers from the boat, the wind suddenly began blowing heavily against the boat’s path. The strong gusts did not give out for the remainder of the race, and the Rams ultimately placed fourth out of five in the event.

The varsity 4, junior varsity 4, and third varsity 8 all, unfortunately, struggled on the Schuylkill River. Only the varsity 4 advanced to the Petite Finals, which they placed fourth in behind Georgetown University, La Salle University and Saint Joseph’s University.

However, the final and most important race of the season took place at Cooper River Park the following Saturday: the A-10 Championship. The conference title is the ultimate sought after prize for Fordham’s team, and unfortunately, one they failed to capture.

The varsity 4 and second varsity 8 boats found moderate success, each advancing to the Grand Finals in their events and placing fifth. However, the varsity 8 was unable to keep up with its competition. The boat placed fourth in its heat, advancing to the Petite Finals, which is essentially a consolation race. Despite that, they handedly won the Petite Finals, placing first ahead of Duquesne University and La Salle University.

It was not an ideal end of the season for the Rams, but it was also a season riddled with challenges and hurdles. The difficulties ranged from extremely limited practices in the fall to a number of team members suffering from the effects of COVID-19 to several periods of quarantine and pauses, all under the cloud of a constantly changing coaching situation. The team was able to withstand these challenges and finish respectably at the conference championship, something that is an accomplishment in its own right considering the circumstances.

With a graduating senior class, next season will see a changing of the guard for the team, one that will hopefully be paired with consistent coaching and the absence of COVID-19.